Well Fannibals, the time has finally come to met The Great Red Dragon. Despite being the first book in Thomas Harris’ series, Fuller and team decided to save this extra special whackadoo for the third season. After successfully transitioning our characters from the storyline of the third book into the storyline of the first book, the writers go on to further show off by managing to tell the history of how Frances Dollarhyde turned into the Red Dragon in a matter of minutes and every single second was gorgeous. Especially those animalistic yoga moves. Yes, please.
What about Hannibal, you ask? Well, this was also handled with a quick montage full of information that never felt overwhelming, nor did it feel as though they were rushing or trying to gloss over something. Hannibal politely went along with all of the pomp and circumstance that occurs when a gruesome cannibal is apprehended and made himself at home in a cell that’s nicer than my current abode. Seriously, why would an insane person merit such a Kubrikian holding cell?
Just in case you weren’t impressed with the short, yet concise, history lessons on Dolarhyde and Dr. Lecter, the writers have also jumped ahead three years and, somehow, it’s not at all annoying. Time jumps rarely ever work well and the fact that they did a successful time jump between two storylines that are already being presented backwards is mighty impressive. Hannibal seems to be having a nice time just waiting for his one true love to show up. Speaking of….
Will is trying to live a normal life in the mountains with his wife and son, but when your brain operates like his does, hope for a “normal” life is fleeting. Jack Crawford has come to ask for Will’s special brand of profiling because the Tooth Fairy is proving to be a special brand of serial killer.
Despite stating that his mind no longer works the way it used to, it only takes a moment for that golden rod to wipe the screen and let us know that we are now entering the mind of Will Graham and it does, indeed, still have the capacity to function like a killer’s. The use of the flashlight to hi-light bodies that are no longer there was brilliant and the steps in which they added the different phases of the crime felt new and fresh. Despite there being two movies made of Red Dragon, Hannibal managed to show the crime scene in it’s own bloody and beautiful way. All of that blood spatter was gorgeous and the sight of dead bodies with pieces of mirror over their eyes and mouth will never stop being ultra creepy to me.
As best described by Dr. Chilton, the Tooth Fairy is now the debutante of serial killers and he delights in suggesting that he just may be even more interesting than Hannibal the Cannibal. It was an obvious ploy to get under Hannibal’s skin, but it worked and Dr. Lecter is now looking into the case and sitting down to write Will Graham a letter. It only took three years for Hannibal to worm his way back into Will’s life, but he was successful and it is certainly going to be a fun ride to see these two back together.
Just like they made carving a leg look beautiful and delicate, they made getting a tattoo look like a beautiful and delicate procedure.
Mandatory nod to The Silence of the Lambs: the dramatic fashion in which Dolarhyde removes his robe. Very Buffalo Bill.
Hannibal should teach penmanship classes.
Babybel cheese has never seemed so ominous.
To see Frances covered in blood under the light of the full moon was, for this Fannibal, the very best celluloid interpretation of this moment from the book. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
2020 Rewatch Notes:
The quick way in which they give you the history of Dolarhyde no longer satisfies me. Red Dragon is the best novel in the series and the killer deserved more time.
Richard Armitage may be my favorite Dolarhyde, despite being given less to work with than Noonan in Manhunter and Fiennes in Red Dragon (2002).